Eureka! or maybe not…

A few years ago, when DD was small, we took a tour of our local landfill. They had an open house and it was an interesting day. I was very proud to have my daughter in cloth diapers, after discovering that diapers are the number 2 item in landfills. The number 1 item? Plastic shopping bags.

I’ve managed to cut down on them by using cloth grocery bags, and now having my groceries home delivered. But I used to reuse my plastic grocery bags to line my wastebins (kitchen and bathroom). I actually had to go out and buy “garbage bags” because I was running out of plastic grocery bags.

We live in an apartment building and have a garbage chute. I can’t put garbage down the chute without it being contained, nor can I dump raw garbage in the dumpster. Stumped, I posted this question on the “Natural Home and Body Care” forum at MDC: what I can use as a substitute to plastic garbage bags? Not a person answered.

I was beginning to give up hope and then, while I was preparing to write a comment to this post by Miranda, it hit me:

If I’m composting (I plan to get a worm composter as soon as we have some property on which to grow stuff) then the garbage I throw out shouldn’t be too wet, right? So then I could use *paper* bags, which are totally biodegradable…

Addendum: I was looking for photos of landfills with bags to add to this post, when I stumbled across various articles about the paper vs. plastic debate. Seems the manufacture of paper bags is not much “friendlier” than plastic, and they don’t appear to degrade in landfills. It’s true that plastic poses a threat to wildlife, whereas paper would not, but I’m not so sure I’m down with cutting trees for garbage bags…sigh! What’s an environmentally-friendly wannabe to do? Apparently, just reusing my plastic bags for garbage is a big step, although it doesn’t seem too satisfying at the moment…

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One thought on “Eureka! or maybe not…

  1. SoundHunter

    Diapers are #2 eh, yeck!Cotton is biodegradable…you could collect stained cotton items…thrift store rejects maybe, and roughly sew together garbage sacs?How exciting….this talk of #3!

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